I do apologise to my readers – if you feel that lately, my blog posts have been a bit blue and melancholy in flavour. Well after all, my blog IS entitled My Flavour and as such posts are usually dictated by my general moods. As all people who have lost someone close to them may feel “It doesnt get easier”.
I like to add that it doesnt get easier, but the grief spurts get farther in between. The actual feelings of grief does not fade. I find myself curled up in a ball of tears even as recently as last night. To the point I asked Ron to pray for me becauseI was worried I was having a satanic attack! Ron didnt say the prayer out loud but the gist of it was he asked an angel to look for me.
If you have been following my blog lately, a lovely lady, Sheila Gibbs commented in and shared with me her story about the loss of her husband Gary Gibbs 29 months ago. Such an extraordinary story but a lovely lady. My heart goes out to her and anyone who are in the same boat as us.
The following narrative had not been edited in any way and all original text was maintained. Enjoy the read.
By Sheila Gibbs – Canada
‘In loving Memory of Gary William Gibbs’.
We had first met at Christian Teen Camp at Nanoose Bay, here on Vancouver Island, in mid July 1972. I was there, with 5 girlfriends as dishwashers, as none of our parents could afford the cost. He was standing quietly in front of the Lodge, with his bike, looking so very shy!
I found myself wandering over, just to get a close look, as he was so very handsome. I asked if he was staying, & he replied ‘no’. He had just ridden down from Powell River to see this place he’d heard so much about. And as he was working at the Mill there, for his Dad, he’d have to be heading back pretty quick.
At the time, I was 16 and he was 17.
We never saw each other again, until early 2000.
I worked at the Safeway, close to downtown Victoria and there was a particular gorgeous customer, who came in, only about twice a week. But everyday, I hoped to see him. Even though he had asked me out twice, I’d declined, as twice divorced and terrified of making yet another mistake.
On one of my weekly visits to my Mom’s, I complained to her about him, and Mom did something she’d never done. Told me, loudly, to ask him, out ! Well, I thought she was getting older & starting to soften somewhat, so I more or less ignored her statement.
But, I never forgot.
After more time had passed, I discovered that he was one of the top Carpenters in the city, so I asked him if he could do some minor repairs in my apartment in late fall 2003.
Shortly after that, we had our first dinner out, & started sharing & basically putting pieces together………….then found out who the other really was !
And all this time, the boy from Powell River, that handsome young man at Nanoose Bay, had been right here, & was my favourite customer at work/Safeway !
We started recounting days, months, years of our live’s, and mistakes we’d made. Unbelievably, our pasts were almost identical !
During my two previous bad marriages, I had thought & wondered of him so very many times, and he the same of me!
And after meeting at Nanoose Bay, he had gotten my address from my dearest Aunt who was the Supervisor at the time, and mailed a lovely lavender stone on a gold chain. When it arrived, I had given it to my Mom, as she loved that colour, and I figured that someone that good looking, would never want me, therefore I didn’t reply to his letter, even to say ‘thankyou’.
Something I’ve never forgiven myself for.
We were married April 17th, 2004!
I only discovered recently that Christ was actually born on that day, not December 25th.
It was almost immediately afterwards that he took ill, and for someone in excellent physical condition, never been in the hospital, he slowly went down hill for the next 3 yrs.
Gary never took off his wedding ring or crucifix, but on April 12th, 2007, he asked me while so ill, laying in bed, to take them, without giving a reason. It scared me so much, as my dear Mom had done the same thing four years prior, just 2 days before she had passed away !
And, so, my beautiful, Christian husband, the only man of my dreams, who gave me the best three years of my life, just slipped away & joined my Mom & Dad in GLORY, on April 14th, 2007.
I had never been treated as well, nor loved and adored, the way he did me !
Well, it’s been over 24 months now, since I lost him.
I didn’t realize just how horrific a broken heart could be. I’ve heard others say, it was like literally having half your heart ripped out. And, they were so right !
To share with others, wasn’t easy, but for some reason last spring, doing so seemed to be pressing on me.
This has been one of the most difficult journey’s in my entire life !!
And no, it doesn’t get any easier with time !
Around April 21st, 2007, in our bedroom, about 15-20 min after I’d gone to bed, the chain attached to our blinds, for whinding, loudly rattled. At first, I thought it was our Tabby Cats, but no, as each night it happened, I would find where they were. Then thought it must be the wind, even though they’d never rattled before. Yet, we face the opposite way from the ocean !?!
I had also seen many times, shadows here and there, since Gary’s death. And almost every time, our Cats would charge out from where ever they’d been, either sleeping or playing, to sniff the exact same area enthusiastically, where I’d just seen the shadow, seconds before.
So, after a while, I realized it must be my Gary !
Well, it’s amazing, how time does droll on and on, but everything else, remained the same around here.
Until one night………….April 20th, 2008.
Gary’s eldest daughter, had been working overseas, with the United Church for a year, starting almost around the time she lost her Dad.
Her only sister & dear Mom had been with me for the Burial Service, but I’d often thought of her. For some strange reason on that night, I felt a sudden urgent need to phone their house. Well, I was pleasantly surprised when she answered, telling me she was back from abroad for a while. It was just so lovely to hear her beautiful voice, as I had desperately been wanting to tell her, how her Dad would be so very proud of her, & as I did that, from the far bedroom, the chain on the blinds rattled !!
And……….they haven’t rattled since !
So, dear readers…………..that was my wonderful husband, telling me, that I’d finally done what was so very important to him ! Just to let his first born know, how proud and pleased with her actions, at the young age of 19, that he was !
Just remember something that my Mom taught me, as a very small child, & have never forgotten………..
Christ will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us !
No matter how stupid, idiotic or just plain disastrous we make our lives.
He will carry us through !
These Bible scriptures have literally been my sustenance & strength:
My Child, you may not know me, but I know everything about you! (Psalm 139:1)
I know when you sit down & when you rise up. I am familiar with all your ways! (Psalm 139:3)
For you were made in my image! (Genesis 1:27)
You are my offspring! (Acts 17:28)
You were not a mistake! For all your days are written in my book! (Psalm 139: 15-18)
I determined the exact time of your birth & where you would live! (Acts 17:28)
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope! (Jeremiah 29:11)
My thoughts toward you are as countless as the sand on the seashore! (Psalm 139:17-18)
And I rejoice over you with singing! (Zephaniah 3:17)
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you! (Psalm 34:18)
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart! (Isaiah 40:11)
One day, I will wipe every tear from your eyes & I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered here on this earth!
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love! (Romans 8: 31-32)
My question is, will you be my child? (John 1: 12-13)
I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32)
My deepest prayers go with this story, for those of you who are also in grief.
Please remember: He will never ever, leave us ! Nothing, absolutely nothing, can snatch us from His Hands !
Yours in Christ alone,
Sheila Joyce Gibbs
‘In loving Memory of Gary William Gibbs’.